Can a beard and an ill-fitting plaid shirt make-up an entire personality? The answer will make you cream your jeans! ASF HOT SEAT: Mac Blake of Waterbed

When did you first start doing Waterbed?

I started waterbed in February of 2015. I wanted there to be a show that regularly mixed sketch & stand-up & experimental stuff so I started one. Cody Dearing gave it a monthly slot at ColdTowne. The show kept growing so the next year, Adrienne Lake welcomed us to the Spiderhouse Ballroom.

How did you come up with the show title?

A waterbed is more or less a very stupid invention that has a certain charm and appeal and that is exactly what I want for this show.

What's your creative process like? How do you generate ideas and keep it fresh?

Collaboration is key. After the first year I started having a different co-host each month. Being able to bounce ideas off of different people keeps the show fresh for me.

One of those people is our photobooth master Erin Holsonback. Sometimes when thinking of show themes - which influence the show’s pieces - we’ll start with the photobooth first. Having a photobooth for the show makes it feel more like a party and the photos Erin takes are hella fun. Shout out to Erin’s husband Derek for helping set it up and being a willing model for whatever offbeat prop we have that month.

What are the show’s influences?

I will shamelessly steal any trick that another show does well. Not big stuff - like I’m not going to start giving points for puns on @waterbed - but I’m always on the lookout for elements that make a show feel more like a can’t miss event.



What can we expect from your Sketch Fest show?

This is our second year doing a Sketch Fest edition of the show. It will be all sketch with a mix of all-stars from the festival plus some very awesome local acts, plus The Dark Arts. Plus it's free.

The amazingly talented Chrissy Shackelford is going to co-host it with me. Chrissy is so funny. Don’t believe me, here’s a vid: 

Her show at last year’s ASF was a fest highlight. She’s performing with Characters Welcome this year so check that out for sure.

What else – comedy wise – are you looking forward to this year? What do you have cooking?

Well I releases a stand-up EP on May 11th. You can buy it here:  http://bit.ly/MacBlakeEP


The finals in the Funniest Person in Austin contest is this month - which is an amazing show. I’m also super looking forward to anotherShow of One Person Show. Eight really great performers with very diverse comedy backgrounds, each doing a complete one-person show. Hosted by me. I’m probably going to host the show as Pat Hingle’s Commissioner Gordon. An idea I like more might bonk me on the head before then, but right now that’s the plan.

For more stuff, check out my website macblakecomedy.com

Catch Waterbed tonight at Midnight at Spider House Ballroom! Tickets Here. And support Mac!

Austin Comedy 2015: Sandbox and Waterbed Keep it Weird


By Lisa Friedrich
I’m not a gambler, but if I had to bet on something, I’d bet most comedy shows can’t claim to summon demons and practice the Dark Arts or provide a “rascal pack” and try snacks as a shared experience. I might even wager most comedy shows aren’t run by people who truly love comedy and just want to be the best them they can be. Most comedy shows aren’t Waterbed with Mac Blake or Sandbox with Rob Gagnon.

The term “experimental comedy” can be applied to these shows, but really I think it’s more of a testament to where comedy is heading and who is ready to be on board. People are eating comedy up and spitting it out because of our access to Vine, YouTube, etc. We aren’t ready and sometimes don’t remember how to sit and watch as 3 comics talk for 10 minutes each then another comic comes up for 40 minutes.


At either of these shows, you may see a stand up set of two, but you’ll also see:
-Canadian Sketch Comedy
-Vin Diesel talking to the Ghost of Paul Walker
-New Snacks
-A mailman bringing the mail to Mac, KIND OF like Mister Rogers
-Ariel Greenspoon drenched in various foods, but honey comes to mind
-Sales Pitches
-Danny Palumbo-Urbano
-Like 8 billion other things

Both of these shows are housed in performance powerhouses: The New Movement Theater and ColdTowne Theater (although Waterbed is moving to the Spider House Ballroom starting in January) and both shows bring in some of Austin’s brightest to do things out of the ordinary. Waterbed once a month and Sandbox EVERY WEEK. Rob and Mac are creating environments for all of our crazy comedian brains to go completely nuts and I love it.

Apparently a comedy show can have its own Mailman. Aaron Brooks as Waterbed's personal postal worker. Photo by Erin Holsonback

Lisa Friedrich is a comedian, actress, writer, and hustler in Austin, Texas. Lisa hosts the monthly stand-up showcase ATX Comedy Hour at the Spider House Ballroom. Lisa starred, along with Micheal Foulk, in the 2014 film Meet Me There directed by Lex Lybrand. She’s taught improv in both Austin and Houston and is a cool person to know.